FL: Trapper bitten by caged bear in Franklin County
June 04, 2011
CARRABELLE — A contractor for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) was injured recently while trapping a bear.
Larry Covell, of Apalachicola, a bear response agent for the FWC,
responded to a complaint by Juanita Brown, who lives on County Road 67 north
of Carrabelle, about a bear attempting to get to her goats.
FWC spokesman Stan Kirkland said Brown’s problem with bears was ongoing.
He said Brown had installed an electric fence, but the bear remained in the
area, so Covell was dispatched to trap the animal for relocation.
On May 19, Covell set a trailer culvert trap, a 6-feet-long, 4-feet-wide
section of metal culvert pipe, with a trap door on one end where the bear
can enter. The other end is welded shut with a bait door that allows the
trapper to insert bait at the far end from the door without entering the
trap. The bait door has a metal pin normally chained to the trap so it will
not be lost. Once bait is inserted, the bait door is closed and secured by
thrusting the pin through two metal loops. The culvert trap also has a long
thin observation port on the side which can also be sealed.
On May 20, at around 10:45 a.m., Covell returned to find a young male
bear in the trap, but said someone had removed the pin from the bait door
and from the trap. Kirkland said that without a pin, the bear was able to
insert a paw and its head through the bait door.
Covell tried to secure the bait door to prevent the bear from escaping or
injuring itself, but the bear thrust its head out and grabbed his right
hand, injuring several fingers.
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